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Published Oct. 10, 2021

Sitting for long hours has been linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, increased blood pressure, and high blood sugar and cholesterol. But standing for similar periods of time isn’t optimal either, as it can cause knee problems, sore feet, and lower back pain. So for many people, the ideal solution is a hybrid: an adjustable-height standing desk.

Adjustable standing desks easily conform to both sitting and standing positions to reduce the number of hours per day you spend sitting, which many medical professionals believe to be a healthier alternative to using a traditional desk. The best adjustable desk may effectively reduce the time you sit during a workday, anywhere from short, 15- to 30-minute intervals to several hours. Equally important, this type of desk allows the user to switch from standing to sitting throughout the day as desired. 

While there are specially designed computer desks and ergonomic desks, standing desks have become so popular in recent years that there are now countless options available. We studied the market to find some of the best standing desks geared towards a range of activities and workspaces that will help get you moving in no time.

How we picked the best standing desks

As more people want to reap the benefits of a standing desk, the market has become flooded with cheap and knockoff products. So in making our top picks, we sorted through some 50 models of standing desks to narrow the field. Among the priority features we insisted on: easy assembly, sturdy construction, user-friendly operation, and overall durability.

Instead of simply choosing the highest-rating desks, we also sought out a variety of products geared toward various lifestyles. To include something for virtually everybody, we considered the gamut, from a converter to modify an existing desk to a standing desk, a strong solution for small spaces, and even the most high-end options for those looking to invest seriously in their orthopedic health and posture.

The best standing desks: Reviews & Recommendations

Best standing desk: ApexDesk Elite Series Adjustable Standing Desk

Power Lifting

Sleek European design and engineering plus a large work surface make this desk a winner.
ApexDesk

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Why It Made The Cut: This electric adjustable desk lets you transform seamlessly from sitting to standing position with a push of a button and give your posture a kickstart within seconds.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 60 x 27 x 48 inches
  • Weight: 131 pounds
  • Colors: Assorted frame and surface options 

Pros:

  • Ample table top work surface
  • Powerful dual-motor lifting system
  • European design and engineering

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t include a cable management tray
  • Beveled edge makes it difficult for C-clamps

Achieve a perfect balance of sitting and standing throughout the workday with the ApexDesk Elite Series Adjustable Standing Desk. A simple button push allows the desk to move anywhere between 29 to 49 inches in height within seconds, thanks to a powerful dual-motor lifting system. A digital controller with four programmable presets lets you choose your favorite positions for even easier adaptability.

A favorite among reviewers and users since its launch in 2015, the Elite Series boasts a beautifully crafted, ergo-shaped work surface constructed of water-resistant, laminated engineered wood. Pre-installed metal anchors make for easy installation, while beveled edges lend a sophisticated look. 

The beveled edge, however, makes it challenging to install the C-clamps needed to set up boom mics, monitor mounts, and other accessories. Some consumers were also disappointed that, for the price, the standing desk doesn’t include a cable management system, which instead must be purchased separately. 

Best standing desk converter: FITUEYES Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter

Convertible Convenience

Easily convert virtually any traditional desk into an adjustable standing desk. FITUEYES

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Why It Made The Cut: This standing desk converter lets users transform a stationary desk into a standing model with minimal assembly.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 24.2 x 19.8 inches
  • Weight: ‎29 pounds
  • Colors: Black (brown and white also available)

Pros:

  • Dual gas spring force for easy transitions
  • Minimal assembly is needed out of the box
  • Desk base can hold up to 33 pounds

Cons:

  • Keyboard tray is stationary and not very large
  • Lowered height may be too high for sitting

For a sturdy, affordable approach to the sitting-for-hours dilemma, consider transforming your existing desk with the FITUEYES Standing Desk Converter. The spacious work area provides enough room for a variety of computer setups, including single or dual monitors, a laptop and computer monitor, and more. In addition, the dual gas spring force lets you transition from sitting to standing in one smooth motion, from 19.8 to 4.3 inches, depending on your height. And the converter can support up to 33 pounds.

Though the product description says the manual standing desk converter comes fully assembled, some users note that minimal assembly is required; fortunately, that’s typically quick and easy. And because it does raise off the desk’s surface, it’s important to note that it will make your desk slightly higher from a seated position. 

As for the keyboard tray, some folks like that it is fixed to avoid rattles when typing, while others would have preferred that the tray slide in and out. Also keep in mind that the tray only accommodates keyboards 15 inches or less.

Best small desk: Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk

Quick and Compact

This small standing desk lets you transform your work space in five minutes. Flexispot

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Why It Made The Cut: Those short on home office space will appreciate the compact, minimalist design and easy assembly of the Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk.

Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 30 x 60 x 25.5 inches
  • Weight: 31.4 pounds
  • Colors: Black/wood (white/wood also available)

Pros:

  • Ample legroom under the desk
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Minimalist design suits any decor

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t lower enough for short people
  • Lacks holes for wires

The Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk is a great choice for those who need to fit a workstation into a bedroom, living room, kitchen, or other common area. The minimalist design allows the desk to fit seamlessly into virtually any interior aesthetic. Easy five-minute assembly requires simply inserting the lifting columns into the pre-installed crossbeam and attaching the feet. 

Though small in size, this Flexispot boasts generous legroom thanks to legs that are offset towards the back of the desk. The feet are also adjustable, so you can use the leveling glides along the bottom to ensure that the desktop is even, not slanted.

While reviewers rave that the desk is easy to assemble and operate, shorter people find that even the lowest setting is too high for sitting, and recommend using a good office chair and footrest for optimal performance. Other consumers point out the lack of holes or grommets for wires to pass through, but a desk wire organizer is an affordable solution to this issue.

Best electric standing desk:
  • Flexispot EB8 Standing Desk
  • Fully Equipped Workstation

    This top-rated standing desk, which features an electric lift mechanism, is the crème de la crème of adjustable desks.

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    Why It Made The Cut: Features such as USB charging ports, industrial-grade sturdy steel frame, T-style legs, and a stylish bamboo finish make this electric standing desk a true workhorse.

    Specs:

    • Dimensions: ‎48 x 24 x 28.3 inches
    • Weight: 91 pounds
    • Colors: Bamboo, white (also comes in black, red oak)

    Pros:

    • USB ports
    • Electric lift with four programmable height presets
    • Supports up to 110 pounds
    • Child lock

    Cons: 

    • Heavier at 91 pounds, so more difficult to move

    If you’re looking for industrial-grade quality that’s built to last, look no further than the Flexispot EB8 Standing Desk. Three handy USB ports (one Type C and two Type A), sturdy steel T-style legs, and a styling bamboo finish are just a few reasons why this adjustable electric motor-equipped standing desk is consistently top-rated among both consumers and pro reviewers alike. And with just a few bolts to be added, setup takes mere minutes.

    You can save up to four customized settings between 28.3 and 47.6 inches, so the lift mechanism of this tall user-friendly desk reaches your ideal height at the touch of a button. The desk not only adjusted smoothly, but it also supports up to 110 pounds, typically more than enough for a computer and such office equipment as a scanner and printer. The desktop has ample room for all your work needs, along with slim drawers to tuck away any additional supplies. And the integrated lock option adds to the feeling of security that your workspace will remain safely in place, even if you have children scampering around the desk.

    One downside to this desk is that the edges are at a straight angle, which can be uncomfortable on wrists when spending long hours at work. That said, you can add a desk pad to the edge of your table to make the design slightly more ergonomic.

    Best gaming desk: VIVO Electric Adjustable Stand Up Desk

    Expand Your Setup

    This spacious electric standing desk can suit those marathon gaming sessions. VIVO

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    Why It Made The Cut: With a spacious tabletop ideal for a variety of computer setups and monitors, this standing desk is a clear choice for gamers and those who work long hours.

    Specs:

    • Dimensions: 31.5 x 63.1 x 29.5 inches
    • Weight: 55.4 pounds
    • Colors: White (various colors also available)

    Pros:

    • Spacious 63-inch surface
    • Durable steel frame construction
    • Integrated cable management system

    Cons: 

    • Instructions challenging to understand
    • Tabletop seems thin and flimsy

    Gamers and others who spend long sessions in front of a computer should find the VIVO Electric Adjustable Stand Up Desk a real winner. The 63-inch tabletop surface with a curved, modern shape is perfect for a variety of computer setups and monitors. Using the touch screen controller, you can create your own personalized ergonomic workstation with comfortable viewing angles and customized height settings.

    The all-steel construction desk frame is strong enough to support up to 176 pounds with an adjustable height range of 29.5 to 49.6 inches. However, some users complain that, in contrast, the tabletop itself seems flimsy. One consumer review even stated the intention to attach the base to a solid piece of wood for an all-around high-performance desk setup should the original surface wear out.

    Unlike many competitor products, this standing desk comes with an integrated cable management system that keeps cords and cables neatly organized and hidden from view for a tidy workspace. Unfortunately, this feature complicates assembly, and many customers note that the instructions can be challenging to follow. Tip: If the user manual seems confusing, watch the online video tutorial, which is easier to follow. 

    Things to consider before buying a standing desk

    Congrats on making the decision to improve your posture while building more pleasure into your workday with an adjustable standing desk. Here are some things to consider before making the investment, since most standing desks are pricey, heavy to ship and, as such, potentially difficult to return.

    Pick your power

    Adjustable desks are either manually or electrically powered. Manual models, obviously, require the user to physically lift and lower the work surface, while pricier electric models require virtually no effort to move up and down. Some electric desks are noisier than others, which may be an issue if you share your workspace with others who may be irritated or distracted or irritated by the sound.  If you decide on an electric desk, check out the extended warranty along with potential parts and labor, should you run into technical difficulties.

    Measure horizontally and vertically

    Measure the space where you intend to put the desk—not just the square footage but the height at which you’ll want it to stand. Then consider the adjustable height range of products as you shop to ensure that the desk will fit where you want to put it and meet your fundamental sitting and standing requirements.

    Check dimensions

    If you plan on putting computer and technical equipment on your standing desk, check the tabletop dimensions and standard weight requirements. This will ensure that the desk will be large and strong enough to hold everything you need to function effectively at work.

    Understand assembly

    Get a sense of what’s involved in putting the desk together in your workspace. Will you need special tools for the assembly of either the desk or the accessories?

    Investigate special features

    Some standing desks may have such extras as a cable management system, keyboard trays, and equipment clamps. Would these make life easier for you? If you choose a desk that doesn’t include these features, can they be purchased separately and easily installed?

    FAQs

    Q: How long should you stand at a standing desk?

    The right length of time to stand at a desk varies depending on the individual, but most experts agree that you should generally stand for approximately one hour for every hour or two that you spend sitting. However, the bottom line is that you should alternate between sitting and standing regularly through your workday.

    Q: Do chiropractors recommend standing desks?

    Though professional opinions differ, many chiropractors will recommend standing desks to patients looking to improve their posture by sitting for fewer hours throughout the day.

    Q: Do electric standing desks break?

    Electric standing desks can be a pricey investment and, unfortunately, because of their numerous moving mechanical parts, there is always a risk that something will break or malfunction. For example, motors sometimes burn out or electrical wires break. Voltage issues pose another potential risk, as they can cause the desk to stop working. The Uplift V2 is an electric standing desk that gets high marks for its performance.

    Final thoughts on the best standing desks

    If you’ve heard the quip “Sitting is the new smoking,” you may be on the hunt for an adjustable desk that will allow the option to stand while working, thus staving off poor posture and other health risks. The best adjustable standing desk, be it manual or electric, will go up and down to various heights with ease. It will also be sturdy enough to support the desktop items you need to function effectively and fit neatly in your space. We found the best standing desk to be the Flexispot EB8 Standing Desk. This desk’s sturdy design, ample workspace and bonus features like USB ports make it quick and easy to change heights with the press of a button. However, apartment dwellers and others with limited home-office space may prefer the compact Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk

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